Qantas Rewards Its Vaccinated Frequent Flyers

Qantas is encouraging its frequent flyers to get vaccinated with offers of free frequent flyer points, status credits, or flight vouchers. Widely rumored for months, Qantas confirmed the offer on Monday morning (Sydney time).

Qantas is handing out frequent flyer points, status credits, and flight vouchers to encourage vaccinations. Photo: Getty Images

Qantas offers rewards for vaccinations

Open to Australia-based frequent flyers over the age of 18, the offer allows people to choose from 1000 frequent flyer points, 15 status credits, or an AU$20 flight voucher if they upload proof of vaccination onto the Qantas app.

In an effort to reboot its sagging network, Qantas has pushed hard on vaccinations. Last week the airline announced it would require all its employees to get vaccinated. The airline has long argued high vaccination rates are key to unwinding travel restrictions and getting people back into the air.

“Getting vaccinated is an important step that every Australian can take that brings us that little bit closer to life as we knew it,” says Qantas boss Alan Joyce.

“As the national carrier, we want to recognize those who have made the effort to protect themselves and the community.

“This is one of the biggest giveaways we’ve ever done. The impact of the pandemic on the travel industry and our own Qantas Group team members means we have a clear vested interest in the success of the vaccine rollout.”

Qantas boss Alan Joyce wants you back in the air, ideally on his airline. Photo: Getty Images

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A year’s worth of free flights and hotels are on the table

While 1000 frequent flyer points won’t get you far on Qantas, participants will then be automatically entered into a mega prize draw to win a year’s worth of flights and accommodation.

Ten people will receive 12 months’ worth of flights to more than 60 destinations around Australia, with free accommodation across the Accor hotel chain, including their upscale Sofitel and Pullman brands.

It’s a downgrade of previous comments by Alan Joyce in which he indicated winners would get to fly anywhere on the Qantas network, including overseas.

“So when international opens up, you could go to New York every week and London every other week, if you wanted to do that,” Joyce said earlier this month.

However, with only economy class seats on offer in the mega draw, a year’s worth of flying to New York would probably start wearing thin before you got near Noumea on the first flight.

Assuming Australia’s internal borders reopen to allow free-flowing domestic travel, a year’s worth of short-haul jaunting between Sofitels every other week tickles this writer’s fancy.

Staying in nice hotels would soften the blow of flying economy class. Photo: Sofitel Brisbane

Around half of Australia’s population are signed up members of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program. Most are irregular flyers on the lowly bronze tier. With no hopes of accruing the 800 status credits to make gold class and even fewer likely to rack up the 1,400 status credits needed to hit platinum, the $20 vouchers may be a popular option.

The hard-core bunch of temporarily grounded flyers who do flash a better grade of membership card are often more focused on getting those status credits. Grounded plats sweating about a downgrade to gold next year because they haven’t done enough flying were recently given a break by Qantas. The airline extended existing status levels until 2023. Half of Sydney’s North Shore sighed in relief.

The promotion runs until December 31, and the free flights draw will be held in January. Qantas advises its frequent flyer members to use their Medicare app to access and upload their COVID-19 digital vaccination certificate and select their reward choice.